When starting a business, buying the equipment you need without blowing your budget can be severely difficult. Of course, this can depend on the kind of business you’re thinking of starting. If you're starting a business and you only need the internet and a room in your home, then you’re good to go and you should be able to save a lot of money. Businesses that require more than an internet connection are a little trickier to navigate. Here are some pointers that should help you to buy your business equipment without completely blowing your budget:
Whose Money Will You Use?
Before we go into the tips, you should know whose money you’re going to use for the equipment. For many entrepreneurs just starting out, they simply do not have the money to purchase all of the equipment they need. This is why applying for a business loan with the bank or looking for investors and funding elsewhere can help. Some people present a business plan to investors, while others put their business idea on a site like Kickstarter to get funding from many different people. Whatever you choose to do, the following tips can help you:
Track Everything You Spend
Make sure you start your business off the right way by tracking every single thing you spend. Some business owners choose to take out credit cards solely for business, and then use them for every business purchase. Not only is this a good way of getting certain pieces of equipment with a good rate to begin with, it’s easier to track your business expenses this way (which also needs to be considered right from the start). Try to figure out how you’ll divide the money you’re given and how you’ll spend your projected profits so you aren’t winging anything.
Look For Second Hand Equipment First
Instead of looking for brand new equipment, look for second hand equipment first. You can usually find refurbished pieces of equipment, hardly used pieces of equipment, and used but in good condition pieces of equipment that will do the job nicely. Yes, it’s nice to have brand new equipment for a brand new business, but you need to consider whether it’ll truly make that much difference to your operation. If not, starting out with second hand equipment could definitely be the right idea for you. When you start making money and you’re confident you can afford it, you can consider upgrading your equipment.
Create Great Relationships With Suppliers
When you create great relationships with your suppliers, you will eventually be able to get some good deals on what you need. You may be able to explain to a supplier upfront that you are looking to create a long term relationship to see if they can offer you a better deal. Alternatively, you could see if you can take a look at your contract in a couple of months and if they would be willing to offer you more benefits. Doing your research on suppliers that do things like this is imperative. If you're working with heavy machinery and other pieces of particularly expensive equipment, you might want to see if you can get finance on your existing truck to spread the cost and make it more affordable over time. If you explain your financial situation to some suppliers, they will understand and could potentially offer you a better deal or payment plans.
Learn How To Negotiate
Following on from the previous point, learning how to negotiate effectively could help you to nab some great deals for your new business. You can’t be afraid to ask for what you want, but don’t forget to listen to the other party and note the issues they have with what you’re asking for. Do your homework so you know that what you’re asking for isn’t totally unreasonable, and be willing to walk away if the deal really doesn’t suit your budget or needs. Remember, the long term goal should be to build a great relationship with the supplier, so you may also consider settling for less than you want for now while you prove to them that you’re a worthwhile client.
See If You Can Rent Equipment Rather Than Buy
Sometimes, you don’t have to buy your equipment outright at all. If you’re not sure whether you’ll actually use a piece of equipment, or you’re only going to be using it sporadically, you could see if you could rent it out from somewhere, rather than buy. You could also rent while you see if your business builds up traction and you start making money - then you won’t have tons of equipment to sell on if things don’t go as planned. Eventually, when you’ve made some money and you know that a piece of equipment is something you’ll use, you can purchase the equipment with peace of mind.
Don’t Get TMT
Many businesses have TMT - AKA too much technology disorder. Do you really need every new piece of technology you come across? Some of this stuff might make your business a little more productive and a little faster, but too much can actually slow your business down and fritter away your budget. Sometimes, it’s simply an ego thing for the business owner. If you have a team of persuasive techies behind you, know that you need to go with your gut and do your own research before you buy them anything they ask for. You should be fair, but firm too. You do not need frequent upgrades of computers, phones, and other tech. If you choose the right makes and models in the first place, these things can last years.
With this advice, you should be able to kit out your business with the quality equipment you need without blowing your budget. It’s important for businesses of all sizes to stay within their budget, so whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to buy more equipment for your already established business, these tips should help you. Thanks for reading!
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